Welcome to CORE 10, an off-the-cuff interview series with prominent CORE figures. Read on to learn more about this week’s guest, CORE agent, Andrea Wells.
Who is the living person you most admire? Oprah is the personification of my moral compass. Plus, her entire message is wellness of the mind, body and spirit. We work around the clock in this business, so we have to remind ourselves to keep balance. Life is a beautiful journey with ups and downs; it’s important to focus on wellness so that you can be your best self for you and those around you.
Who is the most interesting New Yorker you know? Probably my friend Barbara – she’s 79 years old. A few months ago, she and her husband decided to downsize from a Park Slope townhome to a full-service condo building. After wading through 45 years of “stuff”, I learned a lot about her and her fascinating New York journey. She told stories of notable people and popular places that she and her art friends would frequent. She spoke of the old New York – the hippies, art shows, absinth cocktails, her white glove phase, art dealings with Andy Warhol and proved more than once that fashion trends are cyclical.
What is your earliest New York memory? My first trip to New York was when I was 13 years old. I came with my Girl Scout troop (so embarrassing). I was fascinated by the number of people and the fast pace. I thought, “I could never live here”. When I came back at 21, I thought, “I’m definitely living here”. It’s funny how your perspective changes so quickly. For my clients that are new to New York, I give them key places within each neighborhood to visit so that they can figure which micro niche they feel most comfortable in.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Work smarter, not harder. Our parents came from a time when you should get a job to create stability. I found early on that the stability came with the price of not necessarily knowing your full potential. I began working for myself as a freelancer and fell in love with having my own business. When you step up to the challenge, you can be as successful as you’d like depending on how hard or “smart” you’re willing to work. A lot of fortunes have been made in real estate and I’m chipping away at this success story every day.
What are your three most treasured possessions? I try not to get caught up in tangible things. I believe money is better spent on experiences, but I had my father’s great grandfather’s clock shipped from Arizona to Brooklyn. Clearly no one needs a clock in 2018, but this clock is special to me because it was in our family home. It has an audible tick-tock when the pendulum swings, not to mention a very rigorous chiming schedule! I’ve decided to dedicate that sound as a reminder to myself to enjoy the seconds.
Name a movie, book or work of art that changed your life. I had a friend who was an art teacher at a university in her younger years. She and her husband had the most interesting property. They had a main house surrounded by various studios. One studio for paint, another for music and one with a craftsmen bench set up for sculpting neon signs. She had me paint a self-portrait. When I showed her my work, she said that I did it wrong, it had to be a self-portrait with a mirror, not a photo. The process was strange, like getting to know myself all over again. I thought it looked just like me. My Dad said it looked like a bad Whitney Houston.
What’s your greatest extravagance? My ski habit is my biggest extravagance. I’m originally from Minnesota, so when I’m standing on a snowy trail, the beautiful white powdered trees and the muffled silence of the snow brings me home.
What’s your secret talent? I can sing and play the guitar. I taught myself how to do this by watching YouTube videos, so I’m a testament that you can do anything that you put your mind to.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? When people are right I tell them that they are “correct”. Everyone wants to hear that they’re correct.